Kino Lorber Acquires All North American Rights to Nadav Lapid's Cannes Winner Ahed's Knee

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The film premiered in Competition at this year’s
Cannes Film Festival, where it shared the Jury Prize
"Astonishing… quite possibly brilliant. Interrogates a filmmaker’s moral duty in personally and politically fraught times."
– Jessica Kiang, Variety
"A fierce, jagged shard of autofictional rage.”
– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
"Cuts to the heart of Lapid’s visceral genius and... points a new path forward for one of the world’s most irrepressible filmmakers. Lapid is Israel’s most vital auteur."
– David Ehrlich, Indiewire
New York, NY – August 9, 2021 – Kino Lorber announces that it has acquired all North American rights to Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s fifth feature film, Ahed’s Knee, which had its World Premiere in Competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it won a Jury Prize. The film will have its North American premiere in the Special Presentations section of the Toronto International Film Festival in September. Two of Lapid’s previous features, The Kindergarten Teacher and Synonyms, are also distributed by Kino Lorber. Synonyms won the Golden Bear at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival and The Kindergarten Teacher premiered in the Critics Week section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
Ahed’s Knee (Ha’Berech) tells the story of Y, a celebrated Israeli filmmaker who arrives in a remote desert village to present one of his films at a local library. Struggling to cope with the recent news of his mother’s fatal illness, he is pushed into a spiral of rage when the host of the screening, a government employee, asks him to sign a form placing restrictions on what he can say at the film’s Q&A. Told over the course of one day, the film depicts Y as he battles against the loss of freedom in his country and the fear of losing his mother. Lapid wrote the film soon after the death of his own mother, who worked as an editor on many of his works. This masterfully detailed, complex drama offers a sharp critique of the censorship, hypocrisy, and violence instigated by Israel and repressive governments everywhere. The fact that Lapid’s film was produced, largely funded, and highly acclaimed in Israel highlights the complexities of a national cinema that refuses to be muzzled, born of the divisions of society itself.
Ahed’s Knee was negotiated by Kino Lorber Senior Vice President Wendy Lidell and Grégoire Melin of Kinology.
Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber, who has worked closely with Lapid on his two previous films, says: "Nadav never fails to surprise and even shock. Cinema is a unique tool of consciousness in his inventive hands. Beyond any of his previous films, Ahed’s Knee is a breakthrough work and a cri de coeur that will powerfully engage viewers on a most personal level, while illuminating a universal political dilemma. Kino Lorber is proud to continue to bring Nadav’s stunningly original films to North American audiences.”
Lapid added, “Ahed's Knee is not only about the current crisis of Israeli political life. It is not only about a universal crisis of freedom of speech and liberty of art and thought. In the end, it is a film about the essential state of being an individual living in a society. Can we resist injustice and vulgarity while staying human? Can we fight against monsters without becoming monsters ourselves? I'm happy to collaborate once more with Kino Lorber. We share the same vision about what's essential in cinema. We share a thirst for uniqueness, an innovative spirit, and a hunger for artistic adventures, risks, and danger.”
Ahed’s Knee will be released in North American theaters in early 2022, followed by a VOD release on Kino Now plus all major digital platforms and home video.
Nadav Lapid
Nadav Lapid was born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1975. He has directed three feature films, Policeman (Special Jury Prize at Locarno IFF in 2011), The Kindergarten Teacher (Selected Cannes’ Critics week 2014, and which got a US remake in 2018), and Synonyms (Golden Bear and Fipresci award at the 2019 Berlinale). All his films are marked by stark oppositions — between law and order, poetry and materialism — and the combustible reaction when these two opposing sides collide. They have won dozens of film prizes internationally. A graduate from the University of Tel Aviv in philosophy and from Israel’s prestigious Sam Spiegel Film & Television School, Lapid has emerged in just a few years as one of the most promising newcomers in international art cinema. He also published a collection of short stories, Keep on Dancing, translated in several languages. His latest feature film, Ahed’s Knee, won the Jury Prize at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.
Kino Lorber
With a library of over 4,000 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent art house distribution for 40 years, releasing over 35 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Repertory and newly acquired Artsploitation Films and Milestone Films banners. Its acclaimed release regularly win top prizes at all major Festivals and have garnered seven Academy Award® nominations in nine years. In addition, the company brings over 350 titles yearly to the home entertainment and educational markets through physical and digital media releases. With an expanding family of distributed labels, Kino Lorber releases in ancillary media for Zeitgeist Films, Milestone Films, Cohen Media Group, Greenwich Entertainment, Raro Video, Virgil Films, Menemsha and others, placing physical titles through all retail, and direct to consumer channels, as well as direct digital distribution through over 40 OTT and Pay TV services including all major TVOD, SVOD and Cable TV platforms. In 2019, the company launched a new streaming channel which features over 1500 titles from the acclaimed Kino Lorber library.
Hi-res images available here.